Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Mind O My Mind

In the 6th Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, Lord Shri Krishna expounds Dhyana-yoga which entails complete control over the mind. In texts 33 and 34 Arjuna replies to the Lord: "O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady. For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind."
Lord Shri Krishna replies in the 35th text: " O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and detachment." There we have it, the means to control the mind.
Shrila Prabhupada in the purport explains: "What is that practice? In the present age no one can observe the strict rules and regulations of placing oneself in a sacred place, focusing the mind on the Supersoul, restraining the senses and mind, observing celibacy, remaining alone, etc. By the practice of Krishna consciousness, however, one engages in nine types of devotional service to the Lord. The first and foremost of such devotional engagements is hearing about Krishna. This is a very powerful transcendental method for purging the mind of all misgivings. The more one hears about Krishna, the more one becomes enlightened and detached from everything that draws the mind away from Krishna. By detaching the mind from activities not devoted to the Lord, one can very easily learn vairagya. Vairagya means detachment from matter and engagement of the mind in spirit."

Basically, in today's so-called advanced civilization we are taught to engage the mind in activities that harm our spiritual lives. In fact, no one hardly even recognizes there's a spiritual life. We are simply engaged in material activities that drag us away from meditating on that which is most important, Krishna. My mind is raging out of control because I am attached to material activities that have no relation to who I really am. A mind flooded with pop songs, movies, television shows and countless advertisements they have created to suck people into becoming mindless consumers. The more you consume, the more your mind is wild and uncontrollable. But I have been given unconditional mercy from my spiritual master, and by following his instructions I can see the importance of controlling my mind.

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